The President of self-proclaimed Catalan Republic Carles Puigdemont and four associates turned himself in to Belgian police on Sunday, the Brussels prosecutor’s office said, following Spain’s issuing of an European arrest warrant.
According to Belgian officials the politicians entered police in the morning, and were taken into custody.
The arrest of Catalan’s most prominent politician and the President of self-proclaimed Catalan Republic comes as two polls suggested pro-Catalonia independence parties will together take the most seats in December’s regional elections.
Carles Puigdemont and his four advisers, under a European arrest warrant issued by Madrid surrendered Sunday morning to the Belgian police, announced the Brussels prosecutor’s office. They will be auditioned by a Belgian investigating judge “during the afternoon,” said Gilles Dejemeppe, spokesman for the Brussels public prosecutor’s office. The decision of the investigating judge, who must decide within 24 hours to place them in detention or release them on conditions or bail, should intervene in the evening, he added.
The five Catalans were “deprived of liberty at 9:17” Sunday (8:17 GMT). “We had regular contact with the lawyers of the five people and an appointment was made at the police station,” Dejemeppe said. “They honored this meeting,” he added.